Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Century II. unlikely, that thoſe that make Recorders, & c. know this already; for
that they make them in Sets. And likewiſe Bell-Founders in fitting the
tune of their Bells: So that enquiry may ſave tryal. Surely, it hath been
obſerved by one of the Ancients, that an empty Barrel knocked upon wi h
the finger, giveth a Diapaſon to the Sound of the like Barrel full: But how
that ſhould be, I do not well underſtand, for that the knocking of a Barrel
full or empty, doth ſcarce give any Tone.



There is required ſome ſenſible difference in the Proportion of creat-
ing a Note towards the Sound it ſelf, which is the Paſſive; and that it
be not too near, but at a diſtance: For in a Recorder, the three upper-
moſt holes yield one Tone, which is a Note lower than the Tone of the
firſt three. And the like (no doubt) is required in the winding or ſtopping
of Strings.



THere is another difference of Sounds, which we will call Exterior and
Interior. It is not Softinor Loud; nor it is not Baſe, nor Trebble; nor
it is not Muſical, nor Immuſical. Though it be true, that there can be no
Tone in an Interior Sound; but on the other ſide, in an Exterior Sound, there
may be both Muſical and Immuſical. We ſhall therefore enumerate them
rather than preciſely diſtingulſh them; thobgh to make ſome adumbration
of (that we mean) the Interior, is rather an Impulſion or Contuſion of
the Air, than an Elyſion or Section of the ſame; ſo as the Percuſſion of the
one towards the other, diffsreth as a Blow differeth from a Cut.


in Conſort,
Exterior and

In Speech of Man, the Whiſpering, (which they call Suſurrus in La-
tin,) whether it be louder or ſofter, is an Interior Sound; but the Speak-
ing out, is an Exterior Sound: And therefore you can never make a Tone,
nor ſing in Whiſpering; but in Speech you may. So Breathing, or Blow-
ing by the Mouth, Bellows, or Wind (thoughloud) is an Interior Sound; but the blowing thorow a Pipe, or Concave (though ſoft) is an Exterior. So likewiſe, the greateſt Winds, it they have no coarctation, or blow not
hollow, give and [?] Interior Sound; the whiſtling or hollow Wind, yieldeth
a ſinging, or Exterior Sound; the former being pent by ſome other
Body, the latter being pent in by his own Denſity: And therefore we ſee,
That when the Wind bloweth hollow, it is a ſign of Rain; the flame, as it
moveth withinit ſelf, or is blown by a Bellows, giveth a murmur or Interior



There is no hard Body, but ſtruck againſt another hard Body, will yield
an Exterior Sound, greater or leſſer; inſomuch, as if the Percuſſion be over-
ſoft, it may induce a nullity of ſound, but never an Interior Sound; as when
onetreadeth ſo ſoftly, that he is not heard.



Where the Air is the Percutient, pent or not pent, againſt a hard Body,
it never giveth an Exterior Sound; as if you blow ſtrongly with a Bellows
againſt a Wall.



Sounds (both Exterior and Interior) may be made as well by Suction, as
by emiſſion of the Breath; as in Whiſtling, or Breathing.



IT is evident, and it is one of the ſtrangeſt ſecrets in Sounds; that the
whole Sound is not in the whole Air onely, but the whole Sound is
alſo in evety ſmall part of the Air. So that all the curious diverſity of Arti-


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